When Rich stumbles upon a secret Victorian underground network, he sees not only a great historical discovery, but also a way out of his humdrum life. He convinces three of his friends to join him, and together they venture deep into the maze of tunnels beneath London’s bustling streets.
A rude girl made good. An aspiring writer. A cinema usher from Wales. A bookseller who dreams of being an urban explorer. Four friends trapped together in one nightmarish situation as they realise some things are kept secret for a reason.
Will any of them manage to escape the horror that lurks in the DEEP LEVEL?
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I write whenever I can make time to write. I’ve been known to wake up at 4:30am, get myself a cuppa and get to it. Likewise, if I can’t sleep at night, I’ll stay up slaving over a hot keyboard. When a story has gotta come out, it’s gotta come out.
That’s the when, now what about the where?
Sometimes I’ll be sitting in the conservatory, sometimes in the spare room where the desktop is. Wherever I am, though, my cat Zeb always keeps me company.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
No rituals. I am a ritual-free zone. Unless you count putting the kettle on first.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
See above. I’m definitely a tea man, although I will have one cup of coffee during the day to keep me going.
– What is your favourite book?
It’s so hard to pick just one, but I’m going to go with On The Road by Jack Kerouac, specifically the Original Scroll edition. It’s just so vividly written, like a hundred-miles-per-hour technicolour stream of consciousness. Every time I pick it up I discover new joys inside. It really did change the way I think about the craft of writing.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Absolutely. The reason I write horror now is because I’m plagued by nightmares and anxiety dreams, so the ideas come to me without me even trying. I just wake up in the morning, grab my notepad and write down everything I can remember of my dream before it fades away.
I have had a couple of dreams lately that would make for a wonderful fantasy novel, something along the lines of His Dark Materials. I’m very excited about it. But that’s for the future…
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
It always starts out that way, but then something magical happens. I always take little pieces of people I know (certain personality traits, foibles, characteristics) and mix them all up. But then, as the writing progresses, these characters invariably start to develop personalities of their own. They become people in their own right. It’s a joy to behold and one of my favourite aspects of writing fiction.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Sometimes. It depends where I am and what I’m doing. If I have an idea but don’t have a notepad with me, I’ll pull out my phone and record a brief audiofile, just so I don’t forget it.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I listen to extreme metal, write horror stories and love getting tattooed, so naturally I’d have to say romance. Now, just to clarify, I don’t have any disrespect for the romance genre, and I certainly don’t look down my nose at it. Writing a good romantic novel takes no less skill and craftsmanship than writing a good book in any other genre. It’s just not for me, that’s all.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
The obvious answer here would be Stephen King. After all, he is the master of the modern horror novel.
I really do believe that it’s good to mix things up a bit, so I’m going to say Zadie Smith. I think she’s a phenomenal writer. In this game, one often hears talk of “the voice”. Well, Zadie Smith has got “groove”. There’s an almost effortless fluidity to her prose which I find irresistible as a reader. When I pick up one of her books my eyes just slip over the words.
I think I could learn a great deal from her.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I am a MASSIVE fan of Norwegian Black Metal, so there’s your answer. I would like to set one of my aforementioned fantasy novels in ancient Norway. There’s something otherworldly about the landscape, and Norse mythology is so rich and inspiring. It lends itself very naturally to the fantasy genre, I think. And besides, I do love a bit of snow and ice, and we never get much of it where I live by the sea!
Thank you, Richard E Rock and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the Author
By day, Richard E. Rock works as a commercial scriptwriter for radio and contributes ideas to Viz Comic. But by night…he writes horror.
He was inspired to do this after experiencing a series of particularly ferocious nightmares. After waking up and realising he could turn these into utterly horrible stories, he started deliberately inducing them.
Based in Wales, he lives with his girlfriend and their cat. If you’re looking for him, you’ll probably find him wedged up against the barrier at a heavy metal gig, for that is his natural habitat.
Facebook: Richard E. Rock – horror writer